Informal Work and Public Policy Workshop

  • Thursday 18 November 2021
  • 15:00-17:00 (GMT)


The COVID-19 pandemic has both highlighted and exacerbated the longstanding inequalities that define informal work. As the world looks to a post-pandemic future, and, with COP26 being hosted in Glasgow in November 2021, seeks to ensure that global and local economic systems are just and sustainable, guaranteeing the social, economic, and political inclusion of informal workers—the majority of the world’s workforce and often uniquely marginalized due to a lack of basic rights and protections—is more urgent than ever.

While a variety of international policy instruments, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda, and ILO Recommendation 204, point to possibilities for greater inclusion, there remains much to learn about the precise forms that public policy should take, how change can be achieved, and how lessons from specific contexts can be translated elsewhere.

Our workshop will therefore seek to bring together academics, policymakers, civil society representatives, and other stakeholders working around the world to explore how public policy might be most effectively designed and implemented in a way that benefits, includes, and empowers informal workers, producing comparative insights that can inform academic debates, policy discussions, and grassroots and transnational initiatives that aim to ensure that informal workers are included in all aspects of social, economic, and political life.


Oksana Abboud, International Coordinator, StreetNet International

Shriya Anand, Indian Institute for Human Settlements

Alison Brown and Peter Mackie, Cardiff University

Adam Cooper, Human Sciences Research Council and Lesley Powell, Nelson Mandela University

Zhenzhong Si, Balsillie School of International Affairs

Graeme Young, Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods, University of Glasgow

Additional Information

This event emerges from the project “Promoting Inclusive Governance for Informal Workers in Cali, Colombia”, led by Dr Lina Martínez of Universidad Icesi and Dr Graeme Young of the University of Glasgow, and will be organized with the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC), an international consortium addressing major urban development, health, and education issues in 14 cities across seven countries in Asia and Africa. SHLC is funded via UK Research and Innovation, and administered through the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund. Project Reference: ES/P011020/1.

Register here